Crane tips over and falls, killing two at Mass. site
Employer failed to ensure proper crane operation and employee training
The deaths of two workers in a crane tip-over April 12, 2014, in Bourne, Massachusetts could have been prevented if their employer, Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corp., had set up and operated the crane according to the manufacturer's instructions and trained employees in its proper operation, an inspection by OSHA found.
How it happened
The employees were working from a raised personnel platform attached to an Elliott 40142 truck-mounted crane. They were working on power lines on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal, when the crane overturned and fell more than 150 feet to the ground.
"These deaths were preventable," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. "The employer did not refer to or use readily available and necessary information that would have allowed this work to be conducted safely."
The manual was in the crane
OSHA found that company employees were not properly trained or evaluated on the Elliott 40142 truck-mounted crane prior to use. Supervisors at the job site did not follow procedures for setting up and operating the crane in accordance with the crane's safety manual, even though the manual was in the crane and at the job site. They also did not conduct proper prelift planning and other required tests to ensure that the lift could be done safely.
These conditions resulted in OSHA citing Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corp. for two willful violations of workplace safety standards.
OSHA also cited the company for four serious violations, including not using load charts to determine the crane's minimum boom angle, not using an aerial lift, allowing the crane to operate at greater than 50 percent of the rated capacity for its configuration and for failing to conduct a trial lift of the personnel platform prior to use.
The company faces $168,000 in fines.